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Ecommerce Holiday Spending Statistics, Trends and Insights 2019 [Infographics]

October 15, 2019

9 Min Read
Holiday Spending Statistics 2019
Reading Time: 9 minutes

The Holiday Season is just around the corner. It’s the perfect time to highlight the holiday spending statistics from the previous year as well as predict the trends of holiday season 2019.

Although your winning products of 2018 are going to be your winning products during the holiday season 2019, it is still wise to analyze the previous winning products and optimize your online stores accordingly for better conversions this year.

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1. The Gist of Holiday Sales Season 2019 [Infographics]

Holiday Spending Statistics Inforgraphic

An Ultimate Ecommerce Stores Survival Checklist for Holiday Season 2019

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13+ Genuine Solutions To Increase Store Revenue

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Executive Summary: Holiday Spending Statistics 2018

Holiday Season 2018 was a massive hit! One of the best in recent years. Both online and at brick-and-mortar businesses demonstrated strong growth rates.

According to eMarketer, the total holiday retail spending in 2018 was up by 5.4% reaching $998.32 billion. Traditional brick-and-mortar retail also showed significant growth in sales with a 3.9% rise reaching up to $874.42 billion whereas the ecommerce industry grew 16.7% reaching up to $123.90 billion in the holiday spending spree.

According to 2018’s holiday spending statistics, Cyber Monday was the most profitable online spending day in history with $7.87 billion in sales. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving and Black Friday both experienced above-average growth rates, and continue to be important shopping days for ecommerce businesses.

Walmart, Amazon, and Target were amongst the top ecommerce retailers that managed to accomplish great sales during the holiday season 2018. However, many other departmental stores struggled to capture the same momentum.

Holiday season 2019 will provide remarkable opportunities for ecommerce growth. Online retailers can scale themselves by understanding customer preferences and purchasing cycles.

Pro Tip: Your best-selling products throughout 2018 will be your winning products during the holiday season 2019.

2. Holiday Spending Predictions 2019

There are a few aspects that online marketers should keep in focus. Work smart, don’t put all your effort into waste. With the help of the following key findings from the holiday spending statistics 2018, you can scale your business and boost your online sales during the holiday season 2019.

But before we proceed further, take a look at this holiday spending statistic by eMarketer, “Holiday Season 2019 will experience a healthy growth of 3.7%, assisting holiday sales to reach up to $1.035 trillion.”

12 Ecommerce Best Practices to Boost Your Holiday Sales 2019

i) Holiday Spending Starts in October

Almost 22% of people start their holiday shopping in October. Retail giants like WalMart, Best Buy and others often promote their deals before Halloween until Thanksgiving. It creates a cascading effect and has become a holiday trend.

Online shoppers cannot wait for the official sales season. They search for all the deals they can find before the season begins. You can increase your profits sharply with an extended period of promotion. It’s better to start promoting your deals early in October.

ii) In-Store Footfall Is Reducing

Regardless of the holiday sales season, the in-store footfall continues to lose ground. According to a study, foot traffic in US retail stores fell by 7.5%. Why? Because purchasing from mobile devices has become a new trend. It is convenient for many consumers and is challenging the traditional purchasing practices from physical stores. Hence, you must ensure your online game is rock-solid!

iii) Cell Phones Are the Go-To Purchase Channel

According to Digital Commerce 360, smartphone sales solely were responsible to generate $38.8 billion from November 1st – December 31st, 2018, whereas $11.2 billion was the result of online sales from tablets.

As per the holiday spending statistics 2018, smartphones marked the first time in history to bring in the majority of web traffic i.e. 51%, up from 46% in 2017. Based on the current holiday retail trends for 2019, you should expect a higher turnover this year as well. Also, retailers who offer a shopping app tend to generate more than 50% of online transactions.

In-app sales dominate. You must ensure your website and app are fully equipped and super responsive. Focus on speed, user experience, and the ease of checking out. Also, mobile shopping dominates during night time and weekends of the holiday season.

iv) AI will boom

During the holiday season 2018, we saw Artificial Intelligence powered solutions being deployed by many in the USA. Henceforth, it’s safe to say that AI will gain more clout as industry experts are predicting 85% of all holiday season transactions will be AI-based by the year 2020.

Online businesses must target granular segments and reach out to their customers with a level of personalization. With the available data, marketers can train AI algorithms and identify significant variables to their advantage.

For instance, if a teenager is searching for a present for his/her older relative, dynamic segmentation can place them in the segment that is most suitable to their current online purchasing behavior. By using real-time data, businesses can present relevant offers and avoid using obsolete data for targeting.

v) Online Shoppers Have a Stronger Purchasing Power

People will buy many gifts online during the holiday season 2019. This is great news for foreign dropshippers. eMarketer says the purchasing power of American customers is at its peak since 2000. Lower unemployment and better wages will have a positive impact on holiday spending statistics this season.

By creating festive visuals and incorporating them within your promotions throughout the holiday season will allow you to increase your conversions and enjoy better sales during the biggest online shopping extravaganza of the year.

vi) Email Converts Best for Holiday Online Shopping

Emails still rule during the holiday sales season. Klayvio says emails contribute 27% to the holiday spending statistics during the peak of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Roughly 500,000 online merchants assured that emails brought them higher sales. The following numbers speak for themselves.

  • Email Conversions: 4.29%
  • Organic Search: 3.04%
  • Direct Sales: 2.93%
  • Social Media: 1.81%

Checkout 17 Best Ecommerce Email Marketing Tips to Boost Holiday Sales

vii) Free Shipping

Here is another important fact about holiday trends, did you know that 47% of online shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping? They dislike it, hence, if your budget allows it, offer free shipping during the Holiday Season.

It’s needless to mention that it will create a significant impact and increase your holiday season sales significantly. However, if you cannot offer free shipping, at least consider offering shipping discounts and don’t let the online shopper opt for your competition.

3. Halloween Statistics Prediction

Internet Retailer estimates more than $3.5 billion in online sales for the Halloween shopping season. That is if the Halloween online sales grow at the same rate as ecommerce’s present growth rate which is increasing beyond 15%.

Regardless, online entrepreneurs must understand that one shadow which will loom over them during the Halloween season i.e. Inc. The ecommerce giant posts increasing sales in every category, and Halloween costumes or candies are no exception.

Nonetheless, give your best and don’t get disheartened. With relevant research on Halloween statistics and trends, you can conveniently optimize your online store for a better sales season.

4. Thanksgiving Statistics

The rapid growth between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday helped merchants attain $100 billion in sales 11 days earlier in 2018 than in 2017. Also, sales continued to grow until eight days before Christmas.

The period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday generated 19.2% of the total holiday revenue. In total, that five-day period accounted for $24.2 billion in sales, a 23% increase as compared to 2017. Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday all broke sales records.

5. BFCM 2019 Statistics

According to Task Husky, Cyber Monday 2018 was the largest ecommerce day in history so far with $7.9 billion in online sales. Black Friday was the second-best day for online shopping, raking in $6.2 billion. The total online holiday spending during the five days of the cyber week – November 22nd to November 26th– was $24.2 billion in 2018. Comparatively, it witnessed a 23% increase from the previous year.

The year 2017 revealed that the week between Christmas and New Year has become “Cyber Week II” and the day of Christmas marks its beginning. Online sales in the United Kingdom alone grew 28% between December 26 and December 30, 2017. During this period, online shoppers tend to return to the market and take advantage of fresh deals. Online shoppers look forward to the year-end deals, as they’re ready to spend on themselves before wrapping up a stressful year.

However, online retailers have also confirmed that 64% of customers who convert during the BFCM season have a lower lifetime value (LTV). To overcome seasonal purchases, you can generate loyalty by running post-holiday online shopping campaigns.

6. Christmas Statistics

Commercialization of the Christmas shopping season has given rise to a lot of complaints, but people still tend to buy gifts for their friends and family during that time. As for the upcoming Christmas spending statistics, online shoppers may spend over $1 trillion in the USA and over £2 billion in the UK. Undoubtedly, Christmas spending maintains a strong presence as ever and has become a cultural norm in the United States.

Furthermore, according to Statista, on the Christmas spending trend, you must understand that 54% of customers prefer shopping in-stores. Why? Because they can find one-of-a-kind gifts. Christmas statistics highlight the fact that Christmas shopping is not about purchasing Christmas presents only.

A large number of Christmas spending statistics showcase that consumers have a fat budget for the essentials for Christmas parties and events, comprising decorations, candies, food, Christmas trees, etc. This gives brick-and-mortar retailers a brilliant advantage over ecommerce retailers. They must introduce bundle offers in order to increase their per product sales during Christmas.

Fun Fact: 27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2017 at the rate of $75 each whereas 21.1 million fake trees were purchased at the rate of approximately $107 each.

7. Target Audience and Average Holiday Spending

It is important to understand which audience to target while the holiday season is in full swing. Based on the previous statistics, you must anticipate and reach out to the relevant audience.

  • Gen X wins the award for the highest holiday spending with an average of $782 in the USA and £425 in the U.K.
  • Millennials spend the second most during the holiday season with an average holiday spend of $609 in the USA and £416 in the UK.
  • Baby Boomers tend to spend the least during the holiday season with an average of $576 in the USA and £350 in the UK.

Today, the average consumer spends $1,226 on Holiday Gifts. Another follow-up holiday spending statistic according to Bing is that the number of $1,226 actually doubles with household incomes of $100K+.

Additionally, you must know that men tend to spend more with an average holiday spending of nearly $725 whereas the average holiday spending amongst women in the USA is $609.

8. Criteo Shopper Graph

It is essential to understand what your customers want from you. Retailers should put three types of customer data together.

  1. Identity
  2. Interest
  3. Measurement

The Criteo Shopper Graph helps online retailers to maintain control of buyer personas. With in-depth customer insights, online retailers can derive better results for themselves. They can inspire customer loyalty by delivering more personalized customer experiences.

9. Global Ecommerce Markets 2019

Statista predicts a whopping 246.15% increase in worldwide ecommerce sales. From $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. During the past few years, ecommerce holiday spending statistics have skyrocketed.

The ecommerce center of the world is not the West anymore. eMarketer lists out the 10 largest ecommerce markets in the world. They are as follows:

Countries 2018 2019
China $1520 billion $1935 billion
United States $515 billion $587 billion
United Kingdom $128 billion $142 billion
Japan $111 billion $115 billion
South Korea $88 billion $103 billion
Germany $76 billion $82 billion
France $62 billion $69 billion
Canada $41 billion $50 billion
India $35 billion $46 billion
Russia $23 billion $27 billion


Here’s How to Get Your Ecommerce Website Ready For the Holiday Season 2019

10. Finding Your Winning Products

The US retail sales statistics showed an upward trend in November and December 2018. Some of the highest profits came from home improvement products. The Department of Commerce USA released holiday spending statistics in which we found that demand for building materials and garden equipment surged by 8.1%. Meanwhile, the demand for furniture and home furnishing products grew by 7.5%. Furthermore, sales from electronic goods and appliances grew by 6.7% in 2017. But what makes any product go viral?

  • Emotional Impact: Products that provoke emotions of customers generally create a connection with them. For instance, after a stressful day at work, people want to have something that brightens their day. If your product is able to do that, it is likely to go viral.
  • Practical Value: Products that are useful, help solve customer problems or allow them to become more productive, are more likely to boom. Practical value of any product can beat the book value of many successful products. It can make a product go viral. The competition also becomes healthier based on the practical value of the available products. They add aesthetics to boost sales and offer customers what THEY want. This allows building the viral factor for a trending product.
  • Social Currency: Viral products allow customers to establish their social image. They want to be someone who is “with time”. Remaining ahead of the social curve allows the product to become a must-have item. This attribute greatly helps any product to go viral.

There are three different types of products that go viral. Each category determines how long will a product survive. This is an important factor for ecommerce retailers. Understand the product’s longevity in the market before building a webshop. The three types of products are as follows:

  1. Fads: Fads tend to sell bright and fast. They go viral quickly; however, they also stop trending immediately. The life of Fads is up to one or two years max.
  2. Trends: These products set the trend at a slow pace but they stick around for a while. Unfortunately, they do not last the test of time. These products last five years at the maximum.
  3. Growing Markets: These products begin from scratch, but they grow into a stable market. Such products come in like a trend. But more importantly, they never go out of style. Customer demand continues to build with the passage of time. Such products can last for decades.

11. In a Nutshell

Try a different approach this holiday season. Think outside the traditional holiday box. Offer wow deals from as early as October. Don’t forget to optimize your ecommerce store for mobile users. Also, pay attention to the post-holiday opportunities. Research various holiday spending statistics and optimize your store accordingly.

Use as much data as possible to create the best possible customer experience. Find your winning products and stick to them. The biggest sales season of the year is here. Work smart and scale your ecommerce through the roof. With that said, despite what the holiday season 2019 has to offer, are you ready to grab the opportunity and boost your ecommerce sales?

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Reza Merchant

Reza Merchant is a Foodie by passion and a Digital Marketer by profession. He enjoys creating digital content for various platforms and aspires to be the change he wants to see in this world.

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